The South Commission’s report “The Challenge to the South” was launched in 1990

3 August 1990: The Report recommended creating a South Secretariat that would provide the technical foundation (analysis, research and negotiation support) needed by the South for working collectively. The South Centre was established in November 1990 to follow-up the Report’s recommendations and became an intergovernmental organization established by treaty in 1995.

31 July 1995: The Agreement to Establish the South Centre entered into force

The South Centre was established as a permanent intergovernmental organization mandated to provide policy advice, undertake research and analysis, support coordinated actions by developing countries in negotiating processes, and promote South-South cooperation.

“As the premier source of research on issues affecting the South, and growing out of the work and experience of the South Commission, the (South) Centre plays a role whose value for the developing world cannot be underestimated”

Nelson Mandela, in his speech to the Second Meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Centre held in New York, in 1998.

The South Conference reviews the challenges ahead

The annual South Conference of the South Centre has become a major event for developing countries to review the state of the world, their development prospects, and the continuing and emerging challenges that the South faces.

North-South Dialogue

The South Centre seeks to promote North-South dialogue on issues of common global concern on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Promoting the South at international events

The South Centre participates in major international conferences, particularly those supporting South-South cooperation such as summits of the G77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Asian-African Conference. In the organizations where the South Centre holds observer status (UN General Assembly, WHO, UNCTAD, UNFCCC, WTO, WIPO among many others) it promotes the views and perspectives of the South.

Providing analysis on global macroeconomic and financial issues

The South Centre carries out forward-thinking analyses of global macroeconomic and financial issues, highlighting the development implications and prospects for the South and providing recommendations for appropriate action.

Addressing the challenges of climate change

The South Centre is actively engaged in the climate change and sustainable development negotiations where it promotes the development rights and interests of developing countries.

Making the global trade system fairer and inclusive

Making the trade and investment systems fair and inclusive to the benefit of all its members has always been one of the main priorities of the South Centre. In this regard, the South Centre assists developing countries in understanding the development implications of WTO, free trade and investment agreements.

Innovation, health, and development of the South

Innovation, health and development are inter-linked issues that affect the peoples of the South. These are areas in which the South Centre continues to engage in to identify specific concerns  of developing countries (such as access to medicines, transfer of technology, antibiotic resistance, biodiversity protection, intellectual property rights).

Helping create future leaders of the South

Creating an informed South for the future depends on providing information and analyses to young future developing country policymakers.

 

The South Centre provides seminars and workshops to expose students, policymakers, and other professionals from the South to multilateral policy issues that affect the development of their countries.

South Unity in diversity, South Progress through cooperation

Promoting South-South cooperation through cooperation with the South’s other institutions such as the G77, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and regional organizations is an important part of the South Centre’s work.

South Unity in action

Promoting South-South cooperation in practice at multilateral policy negotiations is a key aspect of the South Centre’s work, as it seeks to build South unity and progress.

From the South Commission to the South Centre

The journey continues in strengthening the multilateral intergovernmental policy research institution of the South towards South Unity and South Progress.

 

Map shows South Centre Membership as of 2015.

Environment and Sustainable Development

Policy Brief 18, May 2015

The Nagoya Protocol: Main Characteristics, Challenges and Opportunities

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in October 2014. Its provisions clearly reflect the need for countries to set up access and benefit sharing rules and procedures for the Protocol’s implementation at the national level. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief, May 2015

Policy Brief on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCS)

Part A: Introduction: The issue of ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) has come to be one of the important components of the process towards the UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to be held in Paris in December 2015. Countries have been in the process of preparing their INDCs. This Paper is intended to provide the background information on the INDCs, and a guide to developing countries on how to formulate their INDCs. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 16, January 2015

Understanding the Lima Climate Conference : A Proxy Battle for the 2015 Paris Agreement

I: Reaching agreement on the Lima outcome, after a near collapse

The annual United Nations climate conference, held in Lima, ended early on Sunday morning 14 December 2014 after over two weeks of intense negotiations and the trauma of an almost total collapse of this round of talks that was supposed to be an important step towards a new climate change agreement scheduled to be adopted in Paris in December 2015. (more…)

Side Event, 1 December 2014

South Centre-TWN Side Event at the UN Climate Conference in Lima: Perspectives on the 2015 Paris deal: Options on the road from Lima to Paris

Speakers from developing countries will give insights on the critical markers from Lima to Paris in order to secure an equitable and just climate agreement at the South Centre-TWN side event in Lima, Peru.

(more…)

Climate Policy Brief 15, November 2014

Climate Change, Technology and Intellectual Property Rights: Context and Recent Negotiations

I. Technology Transfer, Sustainable Development and Climate Change

In order to meet their objectives for mitigation and adaptation in climate change, and move more towards a sustainable development pathway, developing countries need access to environmentally-sound technology at affordable prices. (more…)

Statement, 3-5 November 2014

South Centre Statement at 2nd UN Conference on LLDCs

The attached is a Statement by the South Centre at Second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 14, August 2014

Loss and Damage Mechanism Set Up for Climate Change

The UN Climate Conference held in Warsaw has set up a new international mechanism to help developing countries affected by loss and damage from climate change, such as the Philippines typhoon. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 13, August 2014

Developing the loss and damage mechanism in climate change: The tasks ahead

The establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts (the Mechanism) stands out as one of the key outcomes and milestones of the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Warsaw in November 2013. This brief offers our views, as negotiators from developing countries, who have worked on this issue in the past few years. (more…)

Research Paper 51, July 2014

Obstacles to Development in the Global Economic System

I. Obstacles to Development Arising from the International System

As the international community wades into the political discussions regarding the alternatives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 and the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as mandated by the Rio+20 conference, it is timely to consider the question of whether development is a matter mostly of individual effort on the part of nation-states or whether there are elements in the international economic system that could serve as significant obstacles to national development efforts.  (more…)

South Centre Perspectives, January 2014

Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives of the South Centre

  • Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development

The United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda should not simply extend MDGs, or reformulate the goals, but focus instead on global systemic reforms to remove main impediments to development and secure an accommodating international environment for sustainable development. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 12, November 2013

Integrating a Gender Perspective in Climate Change, Development Policy and the UNFCCC

This policy brief discusses the opportunities, challenges and constraints for integrating a gender perspective into global climate change policy as well as the current effort of gender mainstreaming in the UNFCCC. The brief is a companion piece to a previous note that explored the nature, content and implications of the Gender Decision made at COP 18, Doha, 2012. (more…)

Climate Policy Brief 11, April 2013

Climate Change Financing Requirements of Developing Countries

1. Introduction

This paper surveys the existing literature on the climate change financing requirements of developing countries in the two UNFCCC categories of mitigation and adaptation. The reported estimates are based on the current state of play in estimation exercises. (more…)


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